Thursday, September 11, 2008

Back to Work Again

A political campaign kept me busy for several months. A different blog site was used for those months. Now the protests continue back here at the old home place.

It is nice being back again. There are so many stories to be told. So many lives were touched along the campaign trail. I am grateful for having had the chance to run a campaign and look forward to further political activism in the future.

Life is good today as always. Who knows what will be around the next corner as one chapter of life closes and another begins to be written?


Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Day at Guantanamo as a Detainee

Imagine for a few moments how your life would change if you were suddenly charged as an enemy combatant and sent to Guantanamo Bay as a detainee.

You'd be transported under conditions of sensory deprivation to maximize your disorientation.

Brooke Anderson, Flickr, Creative Commons

Carlos Ferrer, Flickr, Creative Commons

Carlos Ferrer, Flickr, Creative Commons

If you were really unlucky you'd end in Camp Delta.

Lorri 37, Flickr, Creative Commons

In any event there would be guard towers all around the place.

USMarine0311, Flickr, Creative Commons

You might be allowed to exercise, or maybe be gathered as a group in an enclosed pen.

ManilaRyce, Flickr, Creative Commons

Your day would not begin or end with regularity. From the LA Times the story continues:

It's a dreary winter afternoon, but the scene could be any time of the day or night. The hour for rec time is one of the few unpredictable features in a day in the life of a detainee.

Reveille is at 5 a.m., when guards collect the single bedsheet allotted to each detainee. That precaution has been in effect since June 2006, when three prisoners were found dead, hanging from nooses fashioned from their bedding.

When they do leave their cells, prisoners are shackled and escorted -- to and from showers, recreation pens, interrogation interviews, and a meeting or two each year with their lawyers. They leave their cells in the "hard facilities" of Camps 5, 6 and the new 7 for no other reason, unless they are found to need medical or dental treatment when corpsmen make periodic rounds.

Once a man has refused nine consecutive meals, he is considered a hunger striker and brought to the detention medical center. His head, arms and legs are strapped to a "restraint chair" while a tube is threaded through his nose and throat into the stomach. A doctor-recommended quantity of Ensure is administered.
Under those circumstances forced feeding is one more nice way of saying "torture." Put yourself in the prisoner's place and imagine the pain and distress of being strapped down and having a tube forced into your body.

A schoolroom was added to the predominantly Afghan camp last year to teach basic written Pashtu and Urdu to the illiterate.

Leather-and-steel shackles protrude from the floor beneath each desk where prisoners' ankles are tethered during classes.

mushroomandrooster, Flickr, Creative Commons

Lights are kept on in the cells 24/7 for what military jailers said were security reasons.

The full story has many more details than my excerpts. You should read the entire article. And put yourself in the place and time as you read. Then remember this is our nation at work. We, the citizens of the United States are represented by the actions of every day in Guantanamo. We cannot let this continue.

jemstaht, Flickr, Creative Commons

The United States needs to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay as soon as possible. All detainees deserve the right to a fair trial or release. We cannot continue to hold human beings in the conditions of Guantanamo if we as a nation hope to hold any measure of moral high ground.


Air Pollution in the Delaware Region

The picture of our air is not a pretty one. The region from Philadelphia to Washington, DC, and extending into Maryland and middle Pennsylvania ranks high on the list of most polluted air in the nation. Have a look.

Most polluted cities


1 Los Angeles (CA)
2 Bakersfiled (CA)
3 Visalia-Porterville (CA)
4 Fresno (CA)
5 Houston (TX)
6 Merced (CA)
7 Dallas (TX)
8 Sacramento (CA)
9 Baton Rouge (LA)
10 New York (NY)
11 Washington (DC), Baltimore (MD)
12 Philadelphia (PA)
13 Modesto (CA)
14 Hanford (CA)
15 Phoenix (AZ)
16 Charlotte (NC)
17 Las Vegas (NV)
18 Milwaukee (WI)
19 St Louis (MO)
20 El Centro (CA)
21 Kansas City (KS)
22 Beaumont (TX)
23 Chicago (IL)
24 Grand Rapids (MI)
25 Atlanta (GA)
26 Cleveland (OH)


1 Los Angeles (CA)
2 Pittsburgh (PA)
3 Bakersfield (CA)
4 Birmingham (AL)
5 Detroit (MI)
6 Cleveland (OH)
7 Visalia (CA)
8 Cincinnati (OH)
9 Indianapolis (IN)
10 ST Louis (MO)
11 Chicago (IL)
12 Lancaster (PA)
13 Atlanta (GA)
14 York (PA)
15 Fresno (CA)
16 Weirton (WV)
17 Hanford (CA)
18 New York (NY)
19 Canton (OH)
20 Washington(DC) Baltimore (MD)
21 Charleston (WV)
22 Louisville (KY)
23 Huntington (WV)
24 Philadelphia (PA)
25 Hagerstown (MD)
26 Rome (GA)

Source: The American Lung Association

Meanwhile we continue to generate electricity in a coal fired plant at Indian River. And we continue to discuss possible wind generated power without making a move. We cannot afford this discussion. The time for action is now. We are late already, but if we continue to pollute our air one day our region will begin to look like Los Angeles.

The nation needs new and more strict regulation of auto emissions along with stringent rules for industrial emissions. Our children and grandchildren deserve a chance to breathe clean air. We deserve the same chance.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Moving the Site

In order to begin the pursuit of a Congressional race, I am moving the blog to Northingon '08. This site and its posts will be archived to remain available. Thanks for visiting. See you at the new site.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Failing Surge

Despite the slight drop in American deaths in Iraq during July, the month remains the worst July since the invasion. August is off to a bad start already with American deaths averaging nearly 3 per day. We see reports in the news of shortages of drinking water at a time when temperatures are at a peak. Electricity production remains far below pre-invasion levels. And now the Kurds in northern Iraq are planning their own oil control in apparent frustration over the failure of the central government to make any progress toward a better resolution.

In spite of all the evidence to the contrary Bush and his administration continue to claim success for the surge in Iraq. What price success? How many more Americans must die before our country recognizes the failure and begins withdrawal? What is an American presence offering to the benefit of the Iraqi people? We must leave Iraq as soon as possible lest the cost to America be one too great to pay.